Delta Rae is a six-piece band from Durham, North California from the grand Midwest of U.S.A. The band consists of: Ian Holljes (vocals/guitar) Eric Holljes (vocals/keyboard/guitar) Brittany Holljes (vocals/percussion) Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals/percussion) Mike McKee (drums) Grant Emerson (bass).
The reason for such neat presentation of the members is because every single one of them is a law onto themselves and contribute to the musical landscape they COMPOSE (word of the day here folks!). This lovely bunch of people aren’t just two-rate musicians or songwriters, they orchestrate and make a sonic mass.
Their second release entitled “After It All” is an absolute masterpiece. A truly riveting, soaring, melodiously enticing, wacky and wonderfully crafted album from start to finish. Each track raises goosebumps and stirring presidential speeches of by gone days to memory alike. Stuffed to the brim with Americana, this is every bit as patriotic as it is boldly different in this day and age of basic pop songs and glorified ballads.
Originally intended to be a concept record, the band, however, felt they had to write the lyrical story around what they were experiencing at that point in time, which added so much more colour to defiance of the compositions. Each track represents another slice of beauty, if I was to write about each one, I would write a book, this is how magical the album is! However, four stand out tracks that would break open the album to its primary state as follows.
Anthem, short and sweet, gives us a very top performance from all the band. There are some supreme musical anomalies in there that would inspire the thought, this is what the boys in Bastille would amount to if they had been inspired by Mozart.
The second song, Run, urges you to do so. Sprint alongside these six adventurers as they whisk you along swiftly, charging through the annals of American history. This song definitely speaks to me and achieves a Florence and Machine style contemporary feel, but with the collaboration and genius of people who probably deserve doctorates in music! One of my personal favourite tracks.
The next track that stood out was, Dead End Road, this is perhaps the more country style feel on the record. It shows cases how these ladies and gentleman can at the flip off a switch go to any genre America has offered over the past 50 years and pull it off, but also put their own spin on it! The vocal harmonies between the female and male singers are truly art in its purest representation.
The fourth and final song I have chosen for this review is the title track “After It All”. This song made me giggle, as recently I attended Music colleges and for years I have been ignorant of the biggest band in the world “The Beatles” but after hearing this song in particularly, I could not even fathom the familiarity of the first bar of the guitar line. It was eerily similar to “Blackbird” by The Beatles. But aside from the reminder, the guitar falls to a minor chord which brings Delta Rae’s personality straight to the plate. The dual singing from the ladies, just makes you shiver and then you fall away with them and become absorbed in the record to only end with this massive dynamic change, with roaring drums, gang vocals and choir style harmonies.
The thing that irks me about having to write this review is, I feel I can’t fit it all in. This band is phenomenal. They have made a timeless record, that despite its American connotations, anyone on the planet could listen to it and hear something amazing and true to their needs.
Delta Rae have created a totally open to interpretation collection of songs. All amassed from their individual (and I am sure extensive) influences and compiled for us all to experience. Cinematic, wonderfully scored and orchestrated, modern twists laden with familiar comforts. What more could I say? My rate is off the charts, on a scale from 1 to five is too little to give, but I give five out of five with the strongest suggestion to the reader to not take my word for it. Get it, and get it now and feel what I felt and bask in their astounding feature length album. It will blow you away!